Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

Review: Logan Lucky

The Logan brothers list their family’s dismal relationship to luck, ticking through some of the calamities that have befallen the clan. One piece of evidence is “Uncle Stickley’s electrocution,” a colorful citation. Who was this Uncle Stickley? How did he get electrocuted? Why was he named Stickley? These questions remain unanswered and Uncle Stickley is never referred to again. Part of the pleasure of Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky is its flair for throwaway lines and little character beats. This movie does not aspire to greatness or significance; being extremely clever and thoroughly competent is the goal here.

The film borrows the shape of Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven series in its devotion to the old formula of the heist picture. But the setting is the opposite: Instead of sophisticated thieves plotting to knock over a Las Vegas casino, the conspirators here are a bumbling collection of blue-collar West Virginians whose dubious plan is to rob Charlotte Motor Raceway during a NASCAR event.

Continue reading at Seattle Weekly

Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’

Seth MacFarlane

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane graduated to movie-mogul status with 2012’s Ted, a boffo hit he scripted and directed. For a guy who can write his own ticket at the moment, he made an interesting choice for a follow-up: a Western. Sort of a Western, anyway. Not exactly a Blazing Saddles-style spoof, and certainly not a straight oater, A Million Ways to Die in the West is a very odd comedy.

MacFarlane himself plays the central role, a tenderfoot sheep rancher by the name of Albert Stark. Albert lives in a crummy little town in the vicinity of Monument Valley, whose cinematically hallowed buttes are in as many shots as MacFarlane can manage.

Continue reading at The Herald